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Digital Skills for the Next Generation – recap eDay Next Gen 2019

On October 10, the third edition of eDay Next Gen took place in Amsterdam. Young talents and future pros in digital and technology followed interesting sessions focused on digital and green innovations in multiple industries.  The NTG Alliance attended the event to see what skills are necessary for the next generation for work and to futureproof the tourism industry. The most interesting insights related to digital skills are shared in this blog.

Digital skills – content creation for the right platforms


A young talent speaking at the event was Tim van der Wiel – Founder of GoSpooky – a rapidly growing business that helps brands advance by staying ahead of the latest innovations and developments. Tim as a millennial knows how businesses should reach the younger generation and create impact with innovative digital content. He highlighted how to keep up with the speed of change in social media platforms. The pace of new trends and developments has reached maximum speed, but so has the pace that potential customers scroll through their feed. Mobile phones have become the remote control of everyone’s lives. Therefore, it is crucial for businesses to step up their content game.

Tim helps companies create content and share it via a platform that fits with that content and message. Instead of focusing on the technology first, behavior should be the starting point. There are four steps that businesses should consider:

  • Start with a story to tell


  • Create a concept based on the relevant channels of your audience


  • Produce tailor-made content that works in the context of each platform


  • Test, learn and adapt to drive content effectiveness and learn from your mistakes.


For example, this could be creating an app or brand filters that can be used on Instagram and Snapchat. The next generation, Generation Z, are using social apps in order to express themselves creatively. TikTok is a rapidly growing new platform that is gaining popularity because users can entertain their audience with short videos. Tourism organizations are also trying to utilize the TikTok platform. Recently the Vietnam Society of Travel Agents (VISTA) signed an agreement to help VISTA members promote Vietnam through TikTok (Huong Le, 2019).


In terms of skills development, organizations in any industry must be able to reflect on current trends and developments and see how the story of their business can be enhanced on one or multiple online platforms. Storytelling, content and concept creation and life-long learning are important skills that need to be mastered in order to keep up with the pace.


Digital skills – innovations of China


Viveca Chan from WE Marketing Group emphasized how China is disrupting business with digital innovation. She highlighted how technology is changing the culture of China and how it affects the digital economy. Some interesting technological advancements that China is currently trialling are based on new retail. Smart things are appearing such as smart restaurants. One of the most popular dishes in China is the ‘Hot Pot’ that is now available in new retail stores where everything is done with automation: an order is automated, sorted and delivered while customers wait in an interactive waiting area. This shows that technological advancements are impacting on F&B operations. Check the video of a robotic restaurant example below.



Furthermore, Viveca stressed the following crucial points for businesses in order to stay competitive:

  • Businesses should build on their core competence and think different


  • They should understand their core target and influencers – make sure to redefine the targetgroup


  • Create moments for your audience and occasions and redefine channels in order to communicate the right message, for the right people on the right platform


  • Make the product and package itself social content


Learning from this session in relation to skills development is that the Western world can definitely learn from the fast developments in China. Creating experiences, online communication and content creation seem to be the most important skills and leads to innovative ideas and concepts that can be rolled out in tourism.


Digital skills – the rise of robots


Dario Raffaele from Accenture took the audience into the rising world of robots and the latest state of art. He underlined how we see many ads about robots, what is the expected outcome and even horror scenarios in movies nowadays. However, robotics can be of great help, as shown in F&B operations in the session of Viveca Chan.

Yet what is the future of AI and what impact will this have on jobs? Even experiences can be created with new technologies that influence the personal form of contact in many touchpoints in the customer journey. However, the risk is that the image of an organization can also be impacted with AI. The most important outcome is that robotics can definitely take over various tasks, but that the human touch cannot be replaced.

The NTG desk research also highlighted this prospect: “High tech with a human touch is necessary in order to develop tourism skills for the future”. Therefore, in relation to the tourism industry, it remains important to keep focused on service-oriented skills in order to build the digital experience.


Preparation phase for the next generation


In order for the next generation to prepare for the future, it remains important for them to stay interested in the trends and developments that are going on and not forget to keep on learning. We are living in a time where it is all about life-long learning and where we have to keep up with the trends and developments in any industry. See where opportunities arise and last but not least stay curious.


Follow the efforts of the Next Tourism Generation via our website, Facebook, Twitter | #NTGskillsalliance or via LinkedIn


Huong Le, T. (June 2019). TikTok signs agreement to help promote Vietnam’s tourism. Retrieved on November 25 from https://kr-asia.com/tiktok-signs-agreement-to-help-promote-vietnams-tourism





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